How to Fix an Office Chair that Won’t Stay Up

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Using an office chair that won’t stay up can be frustrating and can potentially hinder productivity in the workplace. Such chairs might stay up when not in use but sink once you sit on them for work. In most cases, people think of acquiring replacements when they experience this issue with their office chairs.

However, it is good to mention that you can actually try one or two ways to ensure that your chair stays up. Here we look at the best techniques on how to fix an office chair that won’t stay up, but before that, you need to understand how an office chair works.

How to Fix an Office Chair that Won't Stay Up

The Mechanism of an Office Chair

Office chairs are equipped with a pneumatic cylinder that uses pressurized air to control the height of the chair. The pneumatic cylinder with pressurized air creates a support system that works as a suspension that allows you to adjust the height.

A pneumatic support system also includes an internal control valve that is activated when adjusting the height, causing the chair to rise or sink and support your weight. Unfortunately, the pneumatic cylinder on most chairs may fail with time, especially when the seal is too damaged to retain the much-needed pressure.

Usually, the best thing to do when such a problem comes up is to replace the pneumatic cylinder, but the cost of doing this might make you consider buying a new chair. Let us go through some of the best methods that you could attempt to use in repairing an office chair that won’t stay up.

Using a Hose Clamp or a Jubilee Clip

This method involves the use of a hose clamp or a jubilee clip, which is a device that is mainly used for retaining hosepipes on taps. The hose clamp is readily available in most hardware stores.

In this case, you need a hose clamp of around 2 cm (three-quarters of an inch) in length or one that is long enough to wrap around the cylinder. You also need a screwdriver and duct tape. Here is how you use this technique to handle the issue with your sinking chair:

  • Slide the plastic skirt that encases the cylinder up or down. Then adjust the chair to your preferred height. Usually, the best position to set your chair is where the seat is level with your knees when standing. Setting the chair to your preferred height is done first since you will not be able to set the height of the chair once the whole process is complete unless you undo what you will have done.
  • Next, loosen the screw to undo the hose clamp or jubilee clip. In this case, you need to turn the screw anticlockwise and then pull the belt out of the clip.
  • Wrap duct tape around the topmost visible part of the metal cylinder before you fit the clamp into place to ensure that it has a great surface to grip onto firmly.
  • Next, wrap the hose clamp or jubilee to the top of the cylinder, but first, ensure that the chair is at the right height. After double-checking to ensure that the chair is at your preferred height, tighten the hose clamp by fastening the rotating screw.  
  • Finally, test whether the chair has stopped sinking by sitting on it. If you realize that the height is not satisfactory, you should undo the fastening of the screw and readjust the hose clamp or jubilee clip. Besides, if the clamp or clip slides off, you can fasten it over a piece or strip of rubber to enhance the grip or consider trying the next technique, which is known as the PVC pipe method.

office chair sinks

Using PVC Pipe Method

For this technique, you need a PVC pipe (similar size to the cylinder of your chair), a tape measure, a PVC-cutting tool or saw, and a vice. Then, follow the steps below:

  • Pull the protective plastic skirt cover that encases the extendable cylinder to measure the chair’s cylinder size. First, hold the ruler across the cylinder horizontally to determine its diameter. Then, set the chair at the right height and measure the length of the cylinder. In this case, you do not need an exact measurement, but if you need to be precise, you can work out the diameter from the circumference.
  • Acquire a PVC pipe that fits over your chair’s cylinder. This means that you should ensure that the pipe is slightly bigger than the cylinder. Moreover, the PVC pipe should be long enough to cover the cylinder from the seat level to the wheelbase when the chair is set at your preferred height.
  • Use your cutting tool or a saw to cut the PVC pipe on one side only (lengthwise) while holding it with a vice. Then pull the protective plastic cover up or down to uncover the cylinder and push the slit side of the PVC pipe around the cylinder to snap on. The pipe should now be able to hold the chair in place and stop it from sinking. However, if you find it hard to snap the slit pipe on, it is advisable to cut them into shorter pieces and try once again.
  • Check whether the chair is set at your preferred height and adjust it accordingly. The best thing about using this method to keep your chair up is that it allows you to change the height easily. If the desired height has not been attained, you can add more pieces of slit pipes to achieve it.

In the end of the day

Overall, having a chair that will not stay up can be annoying and can also negatively affect your productivity. However, as you have seen above, there are cheaper and better ways to repair the chair rather than replacing the cylinder or the entire chair. Using any of the two methods allows you to save money for purchasing a replacement.

Besides, it also ensures that the chair offers excellent value for money by extending the period that it serves you. It is also advisable to invest in well-designed chairs. These chairs are equipped with a great pneumatic support system.

More Resources

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